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Do-It-Yourself Tools for Leaders

Originally posted: October 15, 2011 on TrishMcFarlane.com

Inspiration on how to be a better leader can come from anywhere.

I recently came across an interesting tool called D.I.Y Design It Yourself Deck by editors Alissa Faden and Ellen Lupton.  It caught my eye because it is a small box chock-full of cards with instructions on projects you can do yourself.  What I liked the most is the quality of the card stock and the images on each card.  It’s a vibrant look at how to use our visual and tactile senses to teach or learn.

Thinking about how our day-to-day world is changing with technology and how people spend time now thinking of ways to unplug gives me ideas of how to use different tools.  As a strong proponent of technology, even I can appreciate that there are times when it creates a mental overload of stimuli and I long for a more analog experience.  There is still value in holding paper in your hand or writing with a pencil or pen instead of typing on a computer, tablet or smartphone.

Using the idea of a do-it-yourself deck, I’d love to create a tool for leaders so they could pull out a card, a recipe of sorts, to find ideas on how to handle situations that arise.  Benefits of do-it-yourself cards for leaders:

  • Precision–  The information would need to be presented in a concise form due to space constraints.  There is no shortage of leadership information out in the world, often in book form.  Cards like these would force brevity, thus increase usefulness in the moment.
  • Size–  A small deck of cards is a good desk tool as well as being portable.
  • Versatility–  Cards can cover a wide array of topics that leaders face in managing their teams or departments.

I plan to play with this idea of creating a desk tool for leaders that they can pull out when they need a non-technical approach to human interaction.  What do you think?  Do you have any ideas of how to incorporate more simplistic presentation of traditional management skills?  Share with me in the comments…

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